c.1580 –1651

Johann(es) Hieronymus Kapsberger

Called “the ultimate genius” who “delved deep into the secrets of music” by Athanasius Kircher, a genius of many forms in his own right, Johannes Kapsberger was most likely born in Venice around 1580.
He moved to Rome in 1605 where he became famous as a virtuoso and in 1611 published his first works, among them the well known Libro I d’intavolatura di lauto [Book One of Intabulation for Lute].
In 1624 he entered the service of Cardinal Barberini, with whom he remained for almost twenty years. In Barberini’s court he met Girolamo Frescobaldi and Stefano Landi, among others.
He died in Rome in 1651. Composer and virtuoso, he composed for lute and chitarrone. His writing style was very personal; his Toccatas are particularly famous. Together with Alessandro Piccinini, he is considered the most important early Baroque composers for lute and theorbo.

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